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MEMORIES OF THE COMMODORE BALLROOM
 
     The orchestras of Frankie Carl, Carmen Cavallero, Tony Pastor, Ray Anthony, Harry James, Charlie Spivak, Johnny Long, Les Hite, Sammy Kaye, Bunny Berrigan, Ray Eberle and many more played here. A skinny kid named Frank Sinatra performed with the Dorseys.

     There were the young Clooney sisters, Abby Lane with Xavier Cugat, the Four Voices, the Pied Pipers, the Beachcombers, and such lead 
singers as Dolly Mitchell, Kitty Kallen, Ina Ray Hutton, Dee Keating, Lucille Linwood, Maryann McCall and Penny Lee.

     There were excellent local bands, from the days of Roane's Pennsylvanians to the Chris Powers Band and Angie Bergamini, the 
latter two groups doing their best to keep the Big Band sound alive in today's world.

     A good look at the local bands can be found in Paul P. Pearsall's 
"Face the Music," Paul, just a few months ago, succumbed to a long 
battle with cancer but this book is still available through the studio 
of Janet Lambert Moore at A Brush With History (508/459-7819), or at local book stores. It's a great addition to any "Swingin' Years" 
advocate's collection.

     We hope that the 100 plus photos selected for this exhibition from 
the collection left by the late Martha Braun, Carl's only daughter, 
will bring back memories of a bygone era. Many of these photos are autographed; and there are some 200 pieces of sheet music and "house records" from the Commodore to be viewed.

     While open to the public, recordings made by the great bands of 
the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s will be played in the background for effect.

      During the Commodore era, people went out purely for the joy of touch dancing to fine music. No alcoholic beverages were served, only 
soft drinks and chips. It was primarily a place to dance, and to meet 
those with similar interests.

Hundreds packed the Commodore nightly to waltz and fox trot until midnight. Often couples and regulars would plan in advance with whom
they would dance during each number.

     There were stag lines of single men and women who would queue up 
to the right side of the ballroom waiting for partners, while on the 
left side, couples sat in seats.
 

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